ICT skill shortages?

A study into employment in the Australian information and communications technology Tom Peard(ICT) industry estimates that Australia will need an additional 33,000 ICT professionals by mid 2017 and that there will be insufficient skilled workers to meet this demand. Yet it says that graduates from ICT courses are having trouble finding work.

If you work in IT, you only have to look around your office to see the age group is heavily made up of Gen X and little to no Gen Y’s.

Why is this? And what can be done to change it?

Well firstly, you can’t get a Bachelor of IT and suddenly be a Project Manager or a Business Analyst. Those sorts of titles require years of experience.

A total of 69.7% of recent computer science graduates are now in employment, although not necessarily in jobs related to their studies, and 12.9% are unemployed, according to figures from the Higher Education Statistics Agency (Hesa).

Maybe we can rectify this problem by putting processes in place to help Graduates grow within their profession.

For example:

  • Summer vacation programs
  • Internships
  • Trade shows / exhibitions
  • Career days
  • Q&A sessions

Have a read through the article below to see a series of ideas the AWPA have presented to boost ICT skills in the market.

http://www.whatech.com/it-education/news/15428-wanted-8000-new-ict-workers-every-year

 

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IT Market Update

Tom PeardWhile things may seem to be tenuous in Queensland’s ICT industry, at least it’s never boring.

As a review of circumstances leading to QLD Health’s payroll debacle continues, IBM has been vigorously scrutinised over its role in the scandal, as well as the procurement process and surrounding decisions that led to IBM becoming the prime contractor in the payroll project.

As the inquiry is ongoing, the only solid message that seems to have been taken from this is that the failed project will be taken into account as a cautionary tale when planning for new ICT initiatives in QLD Government.

The federal election is looming, and as it does, the bottleneck of new ICT projects that seems to happen around this particular time grows. Whispers of changes in Government and policies have had there effect on new ventures across many sectors, as people wait to see what the future holds and what impact it will have on the decisions they make. This may result in an influx of new projects and increased hiring following the election, scheduled for September 7th.

Change will be forthcoming very shortly, but as always, it will be tempered by the past.

Queensland IT Market Update

What a difference a couple of months make! It’s good to see some positivity returning to the Queensland IT market after a relatively quiet six month period following the state election in March this year. Whilst the market hasn’t yet returned to the busy times we saw during 2011 and the early part of 2012, it seems there is momentum building slowly across a number of organisations, with key projects requiring resources as we come into the traditionally quiet Christmas period. This bodes well for 2013, particularly as the State Government starts to undertake new projects following the results of the ICT Audit that it is close to finalising.

In a number of conversations with employers and candidates throughout the year, I have mentioned that I believe we will see significant growth in the market from around March next year. I still hold this belief after hearing QLD Government CIO, Peter Grant, speak at the ICT Industry Forum last week, where he mentioned the government’s plans for significant spending on ICT initiatives as we move into the New Year. This has a flow on effect for many private sector companies that are influenced by the spending, or lack of, by state and local government in Queensland.

So what does this mean for the ICT employment market? My expectation is that the need for ICT contractors will increase as these ICT projects begin. In the early months of 2013, we should see a steady increase in the number of contract roles, particularly Project Managers and Business Analysts. As the year continues, we should see growth across other areas as these projects ramp up their recruitment.

Despite what has been an up and down year for many, it is good to see some positive sentiment in the market. Good signs for the industry as we move into 2013!

So what does it take to be a great Project Manager?

Managing projects can be a complex and difficult task. So what is it that allows great Project Managers to build reputations people that will deliver results on time and within budget?

After discussions with a number of successful and senior Project Managers recently, there is a general agreement on the key attributes that successful project managers possess.

1) They understand the business! They have the patience and communication skills to listen to the key stakeholders and understand what the business is trying to achieve from the project. There is no point in delivering a product or service that will not fit the requirements of the organisation.

2) They are Problem solvers! Projects can vary in size and complexity and it is important that project managers are able to think outside the box to come up with solutions to overcome obstacles.

3) Flexibility! Some projects can change on almost a daily basis and thus, project managers need to be flexible when approaching a project. Project management methodologies are a great way to set the direction for the project but they are not strict procedures. Project Managers must have the flexibility to alter their approach to overcome any obstacles that arise.

4) They are delivery focussed! The reputations of project managers are made or broken on their ability to successfully deliver outcomes to the business. It is imperative that project managers liaise with key stakeholders to set the desired outcomes and do everything they can to achieve them!

5) Outstanding communication and leadership skills! Project managers must be able to engage with key stakeholders to get support from senior management. They also must be able to bring out the best in their teams. This means supporting and delegating to team members to make the most of project resources.

6) Ownership!! Project managers have to take complete ownership of their projects and have the drive and passion to do everything they can to ensure that the outcomes are achieved within time, budget and resource constraints. This is where project managers build their reputations as someone who will get the job done!

Do you have what it takes to be a great Project Manager? With so many large projects kicking off, the industry is booming in South East Queensland. It is certainly an exciting time to be involved in project management!!

Exciting times for Project Managers!!

It is an exciting time to be involved in the ICT industry in Queensland at the moment!

Despite all the talk over the past twelve months of companies letting people go and budgets being cut, there appears to be plenty of opportunities starting to take shape as many organisations kick-off major projects.

There is an abundance of projects in road infrastructure, gas and mining, healthcare and local government as both the government and private sectors seek to provide infrastructure to the ever-increasing population, particularly in South East Queensland.

An interesting topic that came up recently was how these projects are managed to ensure they are completed on time and within budget constraints.

Particularly as so many organisations are currently recruiting for Project Managers and Project Directors to lead major projects and considering that there have been so many people looking for project management roles.

So what separates the best from the rest?

The goal of a project is obviously to ensure that the deliverables are achieved within time and budget constraints. Considering so many project managers are brought on to manage a specific project, it must be a hard task to come in and understand the business and it’s requirements and then manage issues around people, budgets and timeframes.

Not an easy job at all!

What does it take to complete a project successfully? What are the most challenging aspects of successfully delivering projects? And what separates the really successful Project Managers from the rest? An interesting topic that I plan to explore over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned as I discuss some of the issues that project managers face and the attributes of a good project manager – straight from those who have successfully managed large-scale projects!!